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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  July 17, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EDT

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around the world. every year and make it a point to read "to kill a mockingbird." >> visit to see this and other summer reading list. >> now on booktv the j. anthony lukas project awards and panel discussion with isabel wilkerson and alex bissonnette established in 1998th. the lucas prize project honors the best of american nonfiction writing. it is just over an hour. ..
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and he would have been very happy, i mean, to see his friends and colleagues gathering to do what we are here this evening to do. i guess a seasonally vehement question one might ask is, how is this awards ceremony different from all other awards ceremonies? and part of the answer is that we make the awardees sing for their supper in the form of having a panel discussion was a distinguished moderator for this
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year is taylor branch, whom all introducing a minute. the reason he did that specifically has to do with tony, who felt that particularly in nonfiction writing, there wasn't enough of a structured conversation about our craft in there needs to be more. so we use this program and pretext to do that and indeed, arlene has sorted spread this concept to several of our other words ceremonies as well. it reminds us all love why we are giving these awards in addition to offering outstanding achievement. it is to try to anything we succeeded at doing this, create a community of people who do this kind of work, care about this kind of work and are always engaged in thinking about how it can be done better. there are several former winners
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in the audience here. i see dan backwater and the other in earners? so that is proof that this isn't just one evening in your life. this is -- you're always invited and this is part of the conversation that goes on through the years. i want to just mention also that this event is cosponsored by benjamin foundation at harvard. tony was a nieman fellow want in the colombian journalism school. the nieman foundation direct arrant curator there called, strange harbor region is bob giles who is here. this is bob's last year as cheerleader has been nieman foundation. i went to throw him out so
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similar it's a wonderful one. next year and of course still be at the cambridge ceremony, but also your wonderful successor, anne marie lipinski, former editor of the "chicago tribune" will be there presiding. so that is -- it is always a tribute to somebody who is a leader of some pain and has taken a tract of a great successor to the job look easy and fun, which you've done. you and i both had to raise money, it seems like every time you talk to a donor, do we say we want to partner with another institution. [laughter] honestly, this is a case for it being partners is fun and easy. and that's incredibly rare. so thanks for every thing over these years.
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going to introduce, though not welcome to this stage, taylor branch. and then he will come up into most of the hosting duties in a couple minutes. i don't really need to introduce them very much because you all have read his work and know who he is. he is now the first and foremost as the author as the definitive biography of dr. martin luther king jr. spread out over three volumes and just completed and even mcdowell, it's a monumental piece of ice achievement and piece of journalistic biography.
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for instance, nobody here may know this, the t. and i had the same high school american history teacher different times in the south and denigrate junior. later we both worked as john oppressed journalist for the washington monthly, which was kind of our journalism school. so i have been reading taylor's work my whole life. one thing i'll note about taylor that is in his younger days, he had a thankless political organizing. which is running the george
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mcgovern presidential campaign in texas. [laughter] and he was codirect during the other codirect it was bill clinton. so another strand in his career has been the clinton strand and he just for a book about a long series of very searching and private interview that he had with president clinton why he was president, probably the most real-time access any president has ever given a journalist, with the possible exception of admin morris and taylor is still hearing in one piece. so you'll be seeing him in a minute. i am going to this word is presented to a book signing work it exemplifies the literary grace, commitment to serious
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research that characterize the distinguished work of the word namesake. it is awarded this year to a lactic result for the 10th parallel dispatches from the fall line from christianity and islam. the publisher is for our stress. otherwise -- let me read the citation and then i'll tell you why she is here. eliza griswold examines the conflict between christianity and islam on the geographical line. 700 of the equator for this to most frequently collide tiered more than half of the worlds muslims live along this line as do 60% of the world's christians. this is a brilliantly way to examine perhaps most important conflicts in the world today. a life that is currently in pakistan, where she is tied down
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by events and there is a journalist being advised not to move for obvious reasons. and we salute her in assets and nature editor and teacher award on her behalf. [applause] >> thank you, nick and thank you to be a sponsor of the award of the journalism school. i know i am somehow in that story, even if the aftermath of the killing of the modern is something that will have effect on the ground there and anyone can get that story if griswold can. the book that she gave this a
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title dispatches from the fault line between christianity and islam has the title of the 10th parallel, the line that as she followed the book, could just as well have the title common ground because the drama is working under the work is similar to the one regarding this classic book. it is a code of different beliefs to the similar geographic space. he lives tries to make this point i tend to book for christians and muslims need, but the long history of everyday encounter of levers of different kinds, shouldering all things together, even if they follow different faith. bear witness to the two religion and the complicated bids for power inside them, more than the conflicts between them.
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eliza is a poet, a commentator, a nieman fellow, but above all she identifies with the tribe of longform and this prize recognizes and honors and i think should be very grateful to be here -- he would be delighted to be here herself to receive this prize and i know she's honored to get it. thank you. [applause] >> i want to also recognize the three finalists for the same award, the book price. some are here and some are not, but here they come. jefferson county, finalists for staying alive in the 1970s and last day of the wool class. cowie is treated a model for
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political and cultural transformations without shortchanging either. cowie traces how public of anxiety overtook her public security in the united states combining empathy with passion, cowie makes understanding his school and condescension his enemy. americans living in 2011 will understand themselves far better because of cowie's brilliant excavation of the 1970. [applause] >> i do feel moved. when i received a phone call about this prize, i was particularly moved. i received several academic
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words for prizes and awards for this book. but to receive something named after anthony lukas on a book about the 1970s in which his shadow was cast with the common ground and to talk about labor history in which his struggle also cast a big shadow was particularly daunting. but extraordinarily rewarding. and there are certain voices that one hears when one right and anthony lukas is one of those and i'm very humbled to receive this award. thank you. [applause] >> next finalists is paul greenberg for four fish: the future of the last love to. the outer banks from japan to
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norway and the pursuit of the good fish. self-sustaining, plentiful, tasty and cheap. cod was such a fish until commercial fishing decimated day. it was a contender for a while. the fourth fish except for tasty in its number one example gutenberg's case for an environmentally responsible fishing industry and food enough for all is both highly readable and very important. [applause] >> i'll say a word or two. i'm really glad to see fish recognized in the general scheme of things. often they are underwater and it's really no coincidence that they are not recognized under water. there are many, many fish in the
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sea. can't talk about all of them, they just want to leave you with one thing, which is this year is the greatest battle that fish have ever encountered and that is, as i speak of the huge consortium called anglo-american is preparing to return the largest remaining three men ran on earth into a superfund site. if the rent of 40 million a year come to 60 million total salmon a year, but there is unfortunately a $300 billion gold and copper deposit underneath the run. in the years ahead, as people like bp, anglo-american try to turn our food systems into mating system and oil extraction systems, we have to ask ourselves, do we want to fill our tanks that? do we want make telephone people? what do we want to be? so effectively be with one
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thing, i would say that pebble mine. thank you. match. [applause] >> last finalist is it hard luker g who was awarded the pulitzer prize in a couple weeks for the emperor of all the maladies, a biography of can't hear. and siddhartha mukherjee is compelling and illuminating story, cancer is the central character will fall, unpredictable mysterious and resistant. and part come a history of cancer from the earliest mention and 2500 b.c. to the development of various therapies and treatments in the 20 and 21st centuries, including notable successes in many notable failures. the book tells the story of human ingenuity, come passion and race paternalism and misspent money and false optimism. he is not here.
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just by coincidence, we happen to be have the four books per year on her her income in the two were the editors who made a really big china since contribution happened to be the tube where the authors couldn't eat here. so i'd like to welcome salve to come in the publisher to the stage to accept. [applause] >> so i just want to say really quickly that it would've led to be here tonight and i did call him this morning i sat, have you read tony lucas? and he of course said, guess i was inspired by tony lucas and common ground exemplifies this long history made vast, which is what it has done as well. thank you very much, all of you. [applause]
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bob giles is coming up next to present the mark within history price. before you leave, it will just say the last time i ever saw tony lukas, we had lunch, the purpose of an list to trick me into agreeing to do a study for the authors guild of which he was president on that list books and how they work economically. in his last words to me were, so, great, he'll do it, bye. so we did it. it's amazing to meet the quality of bill clinton's reported nonfiction is coming out today is a year in year out as high as i can never remember it being. it's a real bright spot in journalism. i learned something from doing the report for tony and now we
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always talk about the new business model for news new scum which is right over the next hill. the business model for this look is pure willpower and month-end determination. but there is a lot of it on the part of the publishers, writers and that is why theories such a wonderfully prolific. in this part of journalism and it's a great thing. so bob, come on up and take over. [applause] >> things banks come and make an thank you for the nice sendoff. as a graduate of the school, it's been fun for me to be able to reengage with the journalism school in this way and for the nieman foundation. it's been a good thing for us to become a partner in organizing and presenting them in ideas, who stand the words.
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the mark within history price is for a book work of history on any subject at best combines intellectual or scholarly distinction with felicity of expression. the judges decided that the award should go to this year to isabel wilkerson for the warm weather sense, the epic story of america's great migration published by random house. and their certificate says, isabel wilkerson has greeted a brilliant and innovative paradox, the incident affect at its small-scale, the towering work rests on a trio of unforgettable biographies. each of the three main characters began life in various corners of the posting patients
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out. in different decades and for different reasons, each left the land of the testers and had north and west along with millions of fellow travelers in a powerful, lyrical prose that combines the his story is bigger with the novelist and 50. wilkerson's book changes our understanding of the great migration and indeed the modern united states. isabel, please come and get the word. [applause] >> the judges named one finalist, patrick will can, the poet in his laboratory had one
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price. and this elegantly written biography, patrick will wilcken policies early fieldwork in brazil to his career in paris has one of the world's most celebrated anchors. along the way, wilcken provided us with a perspective that structuralism come in the movement launched as well as an insight that anthropology, french intellectual culture. it's how you will book tells us what it aims to be an intellectual and what it means to be an intellectual historian. patrick, are you here? please come forward? [applause] >> thank you very muchfor this
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word. someone is saying to me just earlier that talking about studying in the 60s and how impenetrable his work was end fighting mathematical formula that he came up with that involves skunk of the beast. fortunately, i did mention that in the bud, but that added or edited that out. really, there is a lot and i've just come from brazil and lévi-strauss worked closely in brazil and left a very, very positive portrait of the indigenous people in brazil and i have to say i am working on some of the indigenous people who studied in the 1930s and 40s and lasted very moving portrait in his most successful book and still today, these
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people are really struggling against very for your circus dances, violent and they think lévi-strauss, who is often seen as a very difficult to understand intellectual diddley this legacy, this very passionate defense of indigenous people on the brink. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, patrick and i am now pleased to welcome taylor branch committee will present the work in progress reward and lead the discussion with their winners. taylor? [applause] >> thank you. i want to thank columbia journalism school for hosting this event again, all the sponsors and sees dan for being here. i hope booklovers will be odysseus from beyond this room. i have only two things to say quickly before presenting this
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award. one, i was happy that linda called me because she and tony used to come and go to orioles games in baltimore. i had season tickets. tony and i had the same editor and to us, to work in progress with a discussion of who was later on the deadline. [laughter] and we had many, many refinements on that discussion, but we stuck with it. the only other thing i want to say is that i am leaving here tomorrow to go home to atlanta to two finish, i hope an oral history with my mother and i urge all of you to do oral histories with yourself, relatives, family, not just for isabel's work or anybody else's work, but just for the sake of your family, oral history has been a wonderful tool of a career, but is also a family
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exercise that will help get us together. now that's a word, the work in progress the lucas committee has submitted the award this year to alex toussaint for his book, in progress. we don't have it yet, it "big little man", the asian meltdown of the asian century. alex tizon takes readers on a deep exploration of what it is meant to be an innovation dissent in the western world from the earliest days of the asian migration. beginning with an account of his family's arrival in the united states as philippine immigrants in 1964, tizon is creating that promises to be an elegantly
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constructed and deeply personal work of sociological observations that explores the historical come as psychological and economic underpinnings of his stereotype so deeply embedded in western culture that asian men believed it themselves. alex tizon. i back [applause] >> and we have two finalists here. first, joe tizon for the fiddler on time to go run, published by simon & schuster.
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while many authors have given up eliminating works on race in america, joe says mozingo is headed towards his own achievements on the fiddler and can take a run. mozingo, the author informs us is one of the few of all the african surnames to survive slavery in america. most americans i now wait and according to their chronicle your promise some are fiercely racist and harbor all sorts of myths about their origins. now, mozingo plans to hike down his african search for the history of his surname. the judges expect his project to result in an excellent and the singular work of nonfiction. joseph mozingo. [applause] >> since i haven't written a
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book yet, i'll limit my comments to thank you rematch. this award is wonderful. it is so difficult to do this type of research and so expensive. this is a wonderful thing and i am deeply honored. thank you. [applause] >> and the other finalist is florence williams for brass: a natural and unnatural history. we discovered that toxins associated with lower i.q., lowered immunities, behavioral problems and a higher risk of breast cancer often contaminate milk. how? asks florence williams have millions of years environmental change transforms such an exquisite and mysterious gift of nature into a worn down machine haunted by the pressures of
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modernity. [laughter] and her uniquely fresh and quick witted and intimate voice, william proposes to tackle a deadly serious when questioned, make the burdens of modern life on price threaten the continued evolution of our species as a whole? florence williams. [applause] >> as paul greenberg says, it's nice to see fish recognized. it's also nice to see breasts recognize. i think breasts could a lot recognize, but nowadays on the stage of the columbia journalism school. mine is an environmental history or body part and it's really nice back to environmental books have been honored tonight and
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are in the vein of tony lukas. i'm very honored. i'd like to thank my agent, molly friedrich who is here an editor, joe via lasky for believing in this book. thank you. [applause] >> well, if our discussion flags, we might invite florence back a. we are here to bridge a topic in more than one way. alex is what is not done yet. we know the topic and something of the craft, but we don't have the project. isabel's book is out. there are two widely different subjects. the african-american migration in the united states over the course of six years and the identities of asian immigrants in the broadest and most
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historical sense here that we are really here to talk about is the craft of creating the kind of nonfiction that tony lukas said bush has special ambition, difficult and taking a long time. and i want to open -- we just want to have some dialogue about the craft and then take some questions for from you from the microphones very briefly. isabel, i want to ask you a question right off the bat. her book is both broad and very intimate. as the citation said, i was going to use that work myself. did you ever think of doing one or the other or would you resolve to do it from the beginning, that is a broad history of the migration together with intimate portraits of chosen representatives? >> i resolve to do both because i bet there is no way to capture the whole of this experience without first having in which the reader would be carried
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through the journeys of these people as if they were these people themselves. that meant i had two of three people coming from different experiences, different statements fall into three different tracks of this migration during three different decades and having the reader follow them through the course of that narrative as it unfolded in their own minds, the lives of these people. but the stories of themselves would've been branded branded experiences of ordinary people out there not been the context and the background in the history to give meaning to decision they were making and therefore there has to be disciplined if both. i was obviously influenced and inspired by common ground. i have a trilogy of protagonists, as he did, with the book deals with many of the same issues that is the day. as a matter of fact, ach at boston university in the same
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classroom where he taught. this is so very special to me indeed. the room attracts people. students always are coming into the room. there's something very spiritually meaningful as if they know he's been mayor. and so, the meaning of the decisions of the people had to come from the archival work and all the additional work that had to go at trying to be a journalist. started as journalism because i started it as an anthropological expedition into the lives of people and then it became history with the people passed away and suddenly journalism becomes history. the stories become archival and i have to look at that. i ended up using a structure -- the grapes of wrath because the grapes of wrath, while that is
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fiction and is a masterpiece and i'm not comparing it that way, but it was quite useful to me because i needed to have a way to incorporate that contextual material, the background which gave meaning to the lives being described here, that you are immersed in. but without intruding into the narrative itself. in other words, not to have some important and significant fact intrude upon a moment, a special moment that was occurring at the narrative is unfolding. so i used into chapters as he did and i found that to be a lovely way to be able to keep the rating of a certain level and not interrupt the narrative as it is unfolding. >> that raises a lot of a lot of issue of book it into some of the later. it's a little unfair your book is 30 times, but i do want to say at the outset that her work is a great work of art. if you haven't read it, it is
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quite transporting it will come back to some of those issues. i want to raise one issue to you, alex, also on a very general nature. narrative nonfiction is difficult enough. you are doing narrative nonfiction with a first-person narrator. in other words, putting yourself in the story. is that a necessary choice, a hard choice and what problems does it raise for you in the construction of a book like this because the narrative nonfiction in the first person is relatively rare in the stronach. >> taylor, does the multipart question and i had trouble with multipart questions. i'm just going to go with the first part of your question. first of all, i just want to stay thank you so much to columbia university nieman foundation, thank you for having a work in progress the word.
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thank you so much. such a great affirmation. i fully expected to have a small audience for this book and to receive this kind of award from these organizations is such -- such encouragement for me to continue on. so thank you, thank you, thank you. as far as the decision to go the first person is difficult because, as a vulnerable topic to begin with and if you read it in the first 10, i felt like i have a five -month-old golden retriever who likes to get on his back and just open up his legs. and as vulnerable as he possibly could be. in writing this book come i feel a little bit like my golden retriever, completely opening myself up without being too
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confessional about it. and so, there is defined then you have to walk with you writing first-person. you want to be personal without going too much into private areas. i think that is something that i've learned from a writer at work and named gerry lopez who i consider one of my mentors. one of the keys to writing for him is to write in a personal way without being too private or delving too much into private areas. and it was difficult for me to decide, especially with this topic. but i think if i had attempted this topic without using the first-person, they ran the risk of becoming just another kind of sociological yack peas about race and particularly about the asian male experience. i felt like it needed a face and
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i guess my face was as good as any. >> you have a couple of personal references in your book. it's mostly a third person boat, but when a particular want to mention because i matter than during the oral history of has that name means series that just bloomed and she said there was an occasion for her green to do -- and you mentioned in a blooming series and the book. how did that may pluming series deserve to get in there wonderful story? >> well, first of all, should preface by saying i interviewed over 1200 people for this book that meant primarily as a casting exercise. in other words, i was looking for three people who would ultimately become a protagonist of this boat. i'm into senior centers and catholic churches in los angeles, where foreigners from louisiana and baptist churches
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were a bonus in south carolina. so i went to a great deal of trouble to narrow it down. however, during the course of all of this, i realized i had not actually hurt my own family story and i set out to also make sure that i talked with my own parents who had been part of this great migration. my mother had come from rome, georgia to washington d.c. and i have tell people that she had come from rome. and people say wow, she's from rome? file. and then i say jory jack and they say so. my father had come from virginia, from southern virginia to washington d.c., which is where they met. had they not been part of the great migration that would have existed. as one of a lot of time understanding the more times and people scream parents and grandparents and i realized they needed to talk with them. my toughest interview by fire
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with my mother. this is a generation of people and the class of people, ultimately all of them. this is sort of an under appreciated part of american history is because people themselves did not talk about it. they didn't even tell their children about it. so every reference to my family and i spoke in there are not many of them because i felt the story needed to be about the whole. these three people represent the 6,000,019 wanted to be considered something so personal about me and my family. they did not know any of the things that are in the book better about my family and i think that is a stunning thing when you realize i had been raised by these people and had not known. the story came by accident. i found it riveting when she told me about it. i happened to have had some
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casablanca lilies on the living room coffee table and she happened to see them. and she said they reminded her that may pluming serious that her mother had grown in so she proceeded to tell the story. in the story was this was a gangly orphan of a planned, that exists primarily for the singular moment, sometimes in the middle of the night on a day that cannot be foretold unless it watching it very carefully. and it bloomed a beautiful lily liked to live in the middle of the night and you have to be watching carefully in order to see it. otherwise, the blooms were found earlier to see the magnificent moment. and her mother happened to -- my grandmother happened in rome, georgia, a wonderful garden are apparently known in their blog for her roses and others.
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and she would watch this thing and wait. it is apparently not as if to cat. 365 days of the year was horrible to look at. and so she would tell people -- she would go and tell people, amended poindexter and none of these people enough before my mother told the story better night blooming series is about to bloom and if you want to see a company should come by at midnight and we can wait and watch it with the tea and homemade dough ice cream. so that's what they did get my mother remembered that because that was one of the rituals of going up in the south that she had to forgo when she made this great leap of faith as did the 6 million people who were part of this migration, which is similar to the leap of faith that any group of people, whether coming from europe across the atlantic or across the rio grande or the pacific.
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everyone has to make -- most of us are descendents from someone who had to make this difficult decision and should leave not just the harshness lives that might have propelled them to leave, but also the lovely moments, the recollections. you remember those steamy summer night in rome, georgia on gibbens street, where they waited and waited another be the one time when her mother would let her sit on the porch while these people were waiting. at the moment it would open and it took a while for it up and, if you said you could see the face of the baby jesus in the bloomed. and when it opened, my grandmother's friends would all compete to say that they could see it. eric is right there. and another said she she never saw it. last night but she told that story and i decided to include them in the book as an example of the things they left behind. >> wonderful story.
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alex, one of their choice that you made the delay to ask you that has to do with gender. asian immigrants in the united states obviously are both genders. you're focusing on one. is that for journalistic reasons or urs that gender? and how would that be? >> well, you write about what you know. but it was a deliberate decision to focus in on man, and partly because i think that the stories that asian women -- asian women, particularly in asia have been explored. in fact, if you google books on the asian mystique or the mystique of asian women, you'll come across scores of books. if you google books on asian men, very few -- very few books.
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they think of it a story i could tell with personal insight. my story serves as the skeletal outline for the story i'm trying to tell. so there is a number element to it, but it's a portal into the issues. i think it hopes to have a phase to these general ideas of attacking about. connect now, just within the proposal and what you're saying, it sounds like there's a slightly contrasty methodology here be revisiting places, some of the chapters and sample tiki to places that are residents from ancient history, but not necessarily interviewing lots of
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asians in communities in the united states. it's not a methodology like isabel is. >> the book has a number tone to it. and i'm calling it a sociological memoir, but i am trying to do what isabella brady did, which is to tell specific stories and then to interweave within the specific stories that context -- the larger contest, the history. for example, my first chapter is about a trip that i took to a tiny island in the philippines. for those of you have never been there, the philippines is a nation of 7000 islands and many of them are just rocks spread out from the ocean. i took a trip to one of these fine when, sorted and searched -- i guess you could say i was doing my roots search,
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but i happened upon this one island, where ferdinand magellan, the great explorer, the great portuguese explorer was killed. i bet there isn't a single person in this room besides my two daughters, who could tell me the name of the warrior who killed ferdinand magellan. i would like to tell his story. growing up in the united states, i saw no images can certainly no statues, read no accounts of anybody who looked like me, who resembled my history as being worthy -- worthy of praise, worthy of recognition. and for me to go to this island and tell the stories of luck to us who come in the name of the warrior who killed ferdinand
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magellan, for me it was important to actually stand on the sand, where the battle to place. and i don't know if i can fully explain why. it was an affirmation to a certain degree that men that look like me did have strains, could stand up, confide and could win. and i was a message that i did not grow up knowing. i didn't know that growing up. >> thank you. we're going to take questions after just one more. we had two microphones on this site. because if c-span -- to reach the c-span leaders, please stand up if you have a question to ask. it's about, i wanted to ask you one other thing on the methodology in the interviews -- he did 1200? is a very personal question. how did you know you didn't need
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1201? because there is a tendency here to always think that the next interview is vital. >> that's why it got that many. many people would consider it to be way more than necessary. i knew that i had gone enough when i had a core group of about 30 people, any of whom could have been in one of them in particular -- it's interesting that the methodology was quite well thought out. i had the three major destination cities in the north. there is a three major inspections at the thought that come from. 300 different decades working for a variety of socioeconomic situation for all of them throughout that. and yet, you cannot make a decision, i really needed to make sure that there was a connection somehow.
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and that the places places i actually went back to me directly to the people that i ended up with. but there are necessary to the process. and i went to so many places in los angeles, for example. they're all kinds of louisiana clubs in los angeles where people maintain connections to their experiences and hometowns. there are places where many people who are of creole descent will gather together. i discovered all these entire underground of people who have re-created their experiences in louisiana and texas and los angeles. this seemed the more i discovered, the more i went, the more i found. i went to so many family to this to this one place and a woman recognized me from one of the other places i've been. she said a senior at so many of these places. i've heard the question and you talk to so many people appeared in for judy this, listen to what
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they said to you and i think i have the perfect person. whenever you hear that, you're thinking there's no way you could thinking i'm a journalist, i still appreciate the help, but you would never think i would be the way you would find anyone. i was grateful to her and took the name down and i didn't think much of it, but because it's someone matching you up in a blind date that couldn't possibly know what she really wanted. and i met with this person and the u.s.a. physician who is sameness very grand home in los angeles off of crenshaw and he met me at the door and insisted upon my serving the abundant poundcake with no ice cream and rosenthal, china which i did not want to come and insisted that i
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have. and they then proceeded to begin to tell me a little bit of himself and i listened and asked questions. and then ultimately he said to me, i love to talk. i love to talk and i am a favorite subject. and at that point, i realized i really didn't need the 1201. i had found that. [laughter] >> this is one of our three-carat errors in any of you who may be rich or a stance and others on height hair, dr. fodor has a daughter knowing true because he's got medicine and money, too was written about her dirt, dat or faster. one last question about dr. foster. he's not the most emotive dear to me because i think the other two. however, your portrait of him is in some ways more searing and
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his honesty because here is a person who is the epitome of somebody making it the migration through many, many institutes and yet in many respects he is his own worst enemy. dr. king made a phrase once a long time ago, saying we bear all the vulnerabilities of a status start people. and when you get different statuses like you can never get enough financing to be one of his great. and you portray that. it's really making portrait of somebody who has had name, but nothing is never enough for him. and that's kind of a tragic error. that's really a literary portray. do you know a lot of dr. foster's? have you ever met anybody like that? >> i have to say i've never met anyone quite like him. he is a doctor who at certain times, you know, the interview would have to be over for the afternoon because he had to make
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it to the racetrack. he was truly singular in that way. but i would have to say that in some ways i think that there is a lesson for all of us who love meredith on fiction because it is an example of how we really are seeking care at various, protagonists who are fully formed human being, and meaning for all their flaws and strengths he is someone who over time made himself and his false self available to me to be able to portray it to time, took effort, took taken into the racetrack. want to imitate took going with him to the hospital. there became solidified and seducing him in any film he be in the hospital. those are really difficult things -- do for this project. and yet he was a vulnerable figure. he was a strong figure. he was a wildly successful and
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he seemed never to be able to achieve enough to satisfy whatever blogging he had within him. and so in that way coming he's a universal figure, not merely representative of any particular group or caste or reason this country, but he represents the vulnerabilities in all of us. and i think in that way he is an enduring haircut which is what we are seeking to do in narrative nonfiction. it's a gift to build to find an individual such as here the other two through whom we can understand a different part of ourselves. >> i wish we could talk about the other two, but we do not time. you have to read the book. you have a question? microphone right there. >> i hope it's okay if a judge asks a question. if not, sapi rainout. i was the chair for the work in progress award and found a very moving experience actually after many years as a book critic, getting the finished product, not thinking a lot about what went into it, kind of assuming
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this is the book the author wanted to write, not just the book the author could afford to pay. and i was moved by a lot of the explanations of how they will be a will to do the book i want to write if i don't get some more money. i may have to give up this book when they have to truncate it in a way that i don't want. after the experience, that there should be a nonfiction bank, maybe the goldman sachs nonfiction bank and you apply 45,000. but i wanted to ask you this last question about the relationship of money to the kinds of book you can do. just give you two examples come without naming names. i remember one proposal at a $100,000 advance, but i'm going to need this to be able to do it right. my reaction was, just go to the
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library, read the seven books on the same subject that has come out in the last 10 years and save a lot of money. another with a $9000 advance or that my god, $500,000 should go to this wonderful project. does you think, both of you, about what kind of book can actually afford to do? do i want to do a book that is not the book i really care to do, but i have to do it this way because they don't have enough money for the research. i can't go any further quakes and not just your own case, but when you think of other projects that nonfiction writers are doing, how much of the writer be bound by with affordable? >> wherein the kitchen now. >> all be completely honest with you. i did not take money into account at all when i can see
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the book, when i play in the book, they started writing the book you should have because they needed the money. and i still need the money. but i think the part of me who wrote this proposal and who wanted to write the book was determined to write it one way or another if it's a, as isabel's project date, 15 years. but it's the only book that i need to write. and so, the money part i didn't take into account. i probably should have been maybe about the next time around. i was just so delighted and grateful that a publisher wanted to publish it and there is some interesting and. no, so that's an interesting question. i've never considered
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